born in 1956
Robert Kelly was born in Santa Fe in 1956 and currently lives in New York City and Santa Fe, New Mexico. Kelly studied at Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts where he received his B.A. in 1978. Kelly’s work intricately combines influences of the Bauhaus from Van Doesburg to Mondrian, with those of Schwitters and Klee, Kelly weds hints of the historical with the contemporary. His play of edges, angles, and cuts creates a tension and an intuitive logic to the placement of line and form. Kelly’s work investigates the idea of doubleness through images that reflect, oppose, or mimic each other. The play of postive and negative spaces often accents his interest in duality. Robert Kelly’s work explores the metaphysics of mark-making and painting on a variety of richly constructed surfaces. Kelly uniquely constructs his painted compositions over collaged found material such as vintage film posters and weather charts. He then rubs finely ground ash into the paint surface to suggest age and depth. These explorations, communicated through a skilled technique, refined over a 20 year career, achieve a mature balance that is both formally rigorous and visually exciting.